Warwick Schoolies urged to be safe
SCHOOLIES organisers are expecting about 170 Warwick leavers to hit the Gold Coast from today.
They will join about 25,000 students who will head to the coast this week to partake in the end-of-school ritual.
Queensland Government figures from last year show 169 wristbands were handed out to Southern Downs school leavers on the Gold Coast, and about the same number is expected this year. Every year school leavers are swamped with safety messages including "be safe" and "don't drink too much", but this year another campaign is being pushed at them: do not let a drunken photo on social media ruin your future.
"You can't control where your images may end up," a Gold Coast Schoolies Community Safety Response spokesman said.
He said other messages included "respect the community" and "it's okay to walk away from a confrontation".
It is expected about 30,000 schoolies will party on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and at Airlie Beach this week. The State Government expects most will be under 18 years old.
The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation will be on the hunt for underage drinkers and those trying to buy alcohol for them.
The office's executive director Mike Sarquis said it was not just the Gold Coast where they would be focusing their attention. They will also have officers on the Sunshine Coast and Airlie Beach.
"It is not uncommon for young adults, who are of the legal drinking age, to attempt to purchase drinks for their underage mates," he said.
"What they are unaware of is that, if caught, they could be fined up to $9108."
Every year Drug ARM Australasia conducts research on the Gold Coast during Schoolies Week.
In 2012 a survey of 1500 leavers found 75% had been drunk, 41% had experienced a hangover and 26% had vomited.
About 20% had passed out and 25% had been injured due to excessive alcohol consumption.
About 170 Warwick students heading to the Gold Coast
About 50,000 Year 12s completing exams in Queensland
25,000 will party on the Gold Coast
Each schoolie spends $1500 on average for the week
Those who supply alcohol to underage drinkers could face a $9108 fine